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Employment after Childbearing and Women's Subsequent Labour Force Participation: Evidence from the British 1958 Birth Cohort


  • Joshi, Heather
  • Macran, Susan
  • Dex, Shirley


Data on women from the British 1958 Cohort Study is used as evidence on the determinants of their labor force participation at age 33. A conventional cross-sectional model of full or part-time employment makes use of some longitudinal material not normally included in such models. Whether the woman made the hitherto customary break from employment at the time of the first maternity is included in recognition that this cohort was among the first generation to be offered Statutory Maternity Leave. Results suggest that the presence of children (still) inhibits full-time employment and raises the probability of part-time employment; that income effects on participation have continued to weaken while wage elasticity for full time employment is high. Continuity of employment straight after childbearing raises the chances of subsequent full-time employment, but by no means guarantees it. Gains from maternity leave and other family friendly employment policies have been far from uniform.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshi, Heather & Macran, Susan & Dex, Shirley, 1996. "Employment after Childbearing and Women's Subsequent Labour Force Participation: Evidence from the British 1958 Birth Cohort," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 325-348, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:9:y:1996:i:3:p:325-48

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lawrence F. Katz & Gary W. Loveman & David G. Blanchflower, 1993. "A Comparison of Changes in the Structure of Wages," NBER Working Papers 4297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    1. repec:cep:sticas:/122 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Leila Maron & Danièle Meulders, 2008. "Effets de la parentalité sur l'emploi en Europe," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 51(2/3), pages 185-220.
    3. Uhrig, S.C. Noah & Watson, Nicole, 2014. "The impact of measurement error on wage decompositions: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey and the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-24, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    4. Solera, Cristina, 2008. "Combining marriage and children with paid work: changes across cohorts in Italy and Great Britain," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-22, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    5. Kitty Stewart, 2007. "Employment trajectories for mothers in low-skilled work: Evidence from the British Lone Parent Cohort," CASE Papers case122, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    6. Ludovica Gambaro & Jan Marcus & Frauke H. Peter, 2016. "School Entry, Afternoon Care and Mothers' Labour Supply," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1622, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

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